Naomi Watkins is a women's advocate, educational leader, and community builder. A former middle school English teacher, Naomi worked as an assistant professor in the Greater Los Angeles area and as an instructional coach in Title I schools in Salt Lake City, training teachers and researching about adolescent literacy and language pedagogy. Naomi has been published in international journals such as The Reading Teacher, Journal of Children's Literature, TESOL Journal, and Middle School Journal, and has presented in state, national, and international venues on topics from educating English language learners to culturally diverse children's literature to disciplinary literacy. Currently, she is the Director of Education for Better Days 2020, a non-profit dedicated to popularizing Utah women's history, particularly focused on suffrage and voting rights.
In June 2013, Naomi cofounded Aspiring Mormon Women, a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports and encourages Latter-day Saint women's professional and educational pursuits. Aspiring Mormon Women was born from her experiences pursuing higher education as a Mormon woman and her belief that women find empowerment in pursuing their personal goals when provided role models, connection, resources, and support. The organization provides capacity building, networking, and mentoring on an international scale through online content and in-person events to LDS women who are high school age, who are pursuing postsecondary education and training, who are working, or who desire to return to school or the workforce. Many women report that involvement with Aspiring Mormon Women has been the catalyst to seeking out and making changes in their educational and professional lives.
A native of Southern California, Naomi earned her B.A. in English Education from Brigham Young University, a M.Ed. in Language and Literacy from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning with a literacy emphasis from the University of Utah. She resides in Salt Lake City.